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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2021-06-08, 3:17pm
RedRubyDan RedRubyDan is offline
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Default Making final purchases for glass work?

For the last 6 months or so I been making glass crystal from scratch using just a mixture of raw ingredients and oxides and a couple 2200f furnaces.
Over that time I've made 20-30 different types of glass crystal with a focus on red ruby glass using purple of cassius (purple salt of metallic gold).

In addition to glass making I've been getting into other high temp stuff like forging, fusing, metal casting, and have also started building a tube furnace for general science and chemistry.

I want to get in lamp work, glass blowing and vacuum tube making. I would like to be able to build vacuum tubes such as cathode ray tubes and x-ray tubes. Ideally entirely from scratch (make the glass from scratch along with potentially sintering the tungsten as well.) This may also require a glass lathe, which I can start building when the time comes. For lampwork I would like to use both my own glass and store bought coe matched glass.

Today I would like to order the rest of the stuff to get started in lampwork and glass blowing. I have ordered a 125cf oxygen cylinder and regulators just now.

I'm just a little hesitant on what my first torch should be.

I am thinking of getting the Bravo but would also consider the cricket as well but it's not in stock.

I'm also kinda confused why these torches are so expensive? Not to over simplify it but it's a steel and brass with holes in it and some high temp o-rings. Could a decent torch be made with basic machining equipment such as a small metal lathe and drill press or mill?


So I guess my main questions are...

Would the Bethlehem Bravo be suitable for my purposes? (It appears to be a good general purpose torch for the stuff I have planned, though I've never owned a "real" torch and going into this fairly blind.)

Does anyone have experience making their own torches? or if this is even a viable option?

Are their any cheap options for stainless/chromoly glass blowing tubes or puntys? (They seem to be around $200 online)

Any tools/materials I have overlooked in getting? (So far I have oxy/propane and regulators, furnaces, graphite tools and firebricks, tungsten probes, glass cutting scissors and tweezers, eyeglasses, gloves, vacuum pumps, kiln wash and crucibles.)

Thanks for your time and reading this, any advice appreciated!

-Dan

Vintage Cathode Ray tube (Smaller version of this is what I'd like to make.)


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Last edited by RedRubyDan; 2021-06-11 at 7:29pm. Reason: added pictures
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  #2  
Old 2021-06-11, 2:18pm
RedRubyDan RedRubyDan is offline
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Perhaps this isn't the place for the general glasswork stuff I'm getting into. To be honest I've had trouble finding information online and other people making glass. I have had to go into this mostly blind. The closest video I found of someone doing similar stuff to me is the youtube video by AppliedScience making photochromic glass (glass that used in auto darkening sun glasses.)

Anyway I went with the Bravo as my first torch. Going with a Chinese cheap mini torch for any detail work. I forgot the flashback arrestors and line splitters for fuel along with the sling for blowing.

As for machining my own torch I could partially disassemble the Bravo and find patent drawings of other torches online. I still think this could potentially be a 2 day project on the lathe and could be similar to one of those $3k Herbert Arnold torches for less than $100 in materials.
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  #3  
Old 2021-06-11, 2:32pm
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yonil yonil is offline
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Hi Dan, I don't know if you're on Facebook, but the group Torchtalk (no spaces) might be a better place to ask your questions. They work with a lot of tubing, and I have definitely seen other people ask about making torches on there, before. You haven't mentioned your ventilation set-up, though if you're making glass and casting, you probably have an extraction system?
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Old 2021-06-11, 3:57pm
RedRubyDan RedRubyDan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yonil View Post
Hi Dan, I don't know if you're on Facebook, but the group Torchtalk (no spaces) might be a better place to ask your questions. They work with a lot of tubing, and I have definitely seen other people ask about making torches on there, before. You haven't mentioned your ventilation set-up, though if you're making glass and casting, you probably have an extraction system?
Thanks for the suggestion I will check it out!

I have a 12"inline exhaust fan about 3 feet above the table I plan to work on in a 10X20' building and one 10' side has a roll up door that can be opened. The 12" fan just exhausts directly outside Not sure if this is sufficient? I also wear a full face respirator when working will my kiln as most the glass I've made is 27%-40% lead oxide.

I haven't put much more thought into it until you mentioned fume extraction but do the fumes need to filtered? or is expelling the fumes outside considered ok?

-Dan
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  #5  
Old 2021-06-11, 4:30pm
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Three Muses Glass Three Muses Glass is offline
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Congrats on the Bravo! I'm partial to Beth torches. You mention furnaces but will you need an annealing kiln? Digital is best but analog can be done with much babysitting.
Also, you can buy lengths of stainless steel tubing. There is an online place I've used but can't remember the name. It won't be like a blow tube, tapered, but it'll do for lots of things. Also a clear Boro tube with a stiff color wrapped on the end can do the job too. Maybe some sort of necking tool could come in handy for you as well.
Good luck! Making your own glass sounds pretty exciting.
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Old 2021-06-11, 7:08pm
RedRubyDan RedRubyDan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Three Muses Glass View Post
Congrats on the Bravo! I'm partial to Beth torches. You mention furnaces but will you need an annealing kiln? Digital is best but analog can be done with much babysitting.
Also, you can buy lengths of stainless steel tubing. There is an online place I've used but can't remember the name. It won't be like a blow tube, tapered, but it'll do for lots of things. Also a clear Boro tube with a stiff color wrapped on the end can do the job too. Maybe some sort of necking tool could come in handy for you as well.
Good luck! Making your own glass sounds pretty exciting.
I have two 1500w tabletop furnaces with small firing chambers (5x6"). I been setting a timer and manually changing the temp. I think there is a programming options but I haven't taken the time to figure it out. I use these both to melt, fuse and anneal. I also built a propane furnace/forge out of a steel 10gallon garbage can with a top mounted glory hole (inside dimensions are the same as a 5 gallon bucket.). This was built mainly for melting metal. The main reason I been using the TableTop furnaces is because they get to 2200f which has been good for me when pouring molten glass.

When the time comes for a bigger annealing oven I was planning on using one of those heavy duty steel tool boxes that fit widthwise in the bed of a truck. I was gonna fill it with standard 2400f fire brick and put a better refractory on the inside layer. I have excess of resistance wire and have already sourced the PID for temp control, thermocouple and relay. I would like to build it as a slightly larger version of that Paragon annealing kiln that I've seen a lot of people with. Forgot the name of it but it's around $1400.

Gold Ruby and Cobalt Glass (3 images are of the same piece of gold ruby glass)


Assortment of homemade glass




In the picture with the assortment, the bottom left yellowish glass is 3% by weight gold. This was one of my first attempts and didn't know you needed to further convert the gold chloride to a purple salt.

The pieces I've made are all small samples roughly 30-140g of material. I still have some issues with tiny inclusions and bubbles but I feel when I scale it up to larger crucibles the quality/clarity will be much better. I been doing mainly small samples to test and discover different glass compositions that I record for future batches.

Last edited by RedRubyDan; 2021-06-11 at 7:31pm. Reason: resize photo
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Old 2021-06-12, 7:24am
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Eileen Eileen is offline
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I'm of no help with most of your projects, but just wanted to cheer you on. The samples are intriguing! I admit I would never have thought of making my own glass.

I'm glad you are using safety measures. You do mention glasses, and I'm hoping they are protective from the glare as well as flying glass.
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